From Rebecca: Birthdays

Birthdays are on my mind lately. My family has a few birthdays in March, including my husband Darren, and including someone yesterday. I wished the woman with this milestone a happy birthday, and she expressed regret that she was getting older. I think a lot of people feel that way; that we love the special day but don’t like seeing our age number go up. I know most of us don’t feel like our age. I am almost 50 years old, and most days I feel so much younger. I still want so much in my life, can it really be  half over? And then my body aches or my feet hurt, and I feel way older.

When the month of someone’s birthday is here, the next time I see him or her, I say, “Happy birthday month!” I wish people a happy birthday week, too. I like the extra time to celebrate people I love, especially if I can’t be with them on the actual day. Birthdays represent the day we came into this world and that is awesome. And we all deserve a day to feel special, if only to ourselves. We all have an impact on the world, we all change things big and small in the world around us, just by interacting with others. We touch so many lives. On our birthday, we celebrate another year down, and another year ahead. We celebrate being alive.

Though part of that is also seeing so much change: where we live, where we work, where we shop, what we buy. Familiar businesses go away, new buildings go up, streets get new names. We see changes in music, film, and technology. I have two nephews and a niece all under 20 years old. When I was their age, my sisters and I were still playing albums on the turntable and just getting into cassette tapes to listen to music. My teenage and pre-teen relatives listen to music on their electronic devices. Thankfully there are still radio stations, so I can keep up with the new music. As an old-fashioned, getting older person, I wrote the first draft of this blog post in longhand on paper before typing it out on the computer screen; if I were younger I might have an electronic tablet for that. New technology is fun, but the old stuff is good too. Getting older means balancing all the technology and choosing what works for us from what is available.

I have a blessing that I usually use for birthday cards, to reflect that birthdays are the start of a new year. I bless you all with it now: May you be surrounded by joy, love, light, strength, comfort, laughter, and peace.

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